Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge - June 13th 2008

In co-operation with the Sierra Club Great Basin Group, Friends of Nevada Wilderness worked to remove unnecessary barbed wire fence southeast of Catnip reservoir in the Charles Sheldon National Wildlife refuge. There were twelve Friends of Nevada Wilderness volunteers and staff along with three U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees. This is an ongoing, annual project.

Most of the volunteers arrived Friday evening. Brian Day, the Refuge manager met the group around 10:00 Saturday morning. The group drove to the worksite and arrived at approximately 10:30 and began to deconstruct a stretch of fence that had been the termination of last year’s project. The only tool used to any extent were fence pliers. Fish and Wildlife had a military surplus Unimog with winch attachment that they had used in the past to roll up the old barbed wire, but the vehicle blew a tire and the FWS employees did not have the proper tools to switch it out. We did not have an efficient way to get the old wire to the road so the volunteers left the wire where it had been rolled manually for later removal. The steel posts were pulled, stacked, and left in the field as well to be picked up at a later date.
We broke for lunch at the vehicles and elected to proceed to another site closer to Catnip reservoir. We arrived at the site and found it had been disassembled during a prior trip. By this time it was approximately 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the group decided to retire for the day rather than drive to another site. Work ended at 3:30.

The group ate a pot-luck dinner after the project ended. There were many wildflowers in bloom on the sagebrush steppes: Primrose, Larkspur, Bitterroot, various Parsleys, Prairie Smoke, Cushion Phlox and Basin Rayless Daisies among others were present.

*226 volunteer hours were recorded for this project.
*$3,390.00 was saved through the use of volunteers that the Fish and Wildlife Service would have otherwise had to spend on in-kind labor. (Based on government protocol $15.00/hr).

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